20 year old Tasmanian, Kyron Bacon, is charging his way to the top of the off road world and his rapid rise up the Aussie scene is just the beginning.In 2019, he won the Under 19 class of the AORC, in 2020 he took third in the E1 class and for 2021, he is chasing the E1 championship after finishing second in the opening rounds and recently won his class at Hattah. The progress of Kyron Bacon over the past few seasons has been as rapid and inspiring as anyone. Hailing from Tasmania, despite its excellent riding terrain, is hardly a hot bed of competition and it takes a dedicated and motivated athlete to move up the ladder.
Bacon has his sights set high and would like nothing more than to take on the World Off-Road scene and follow in the footsteps of mentor and former world champion, Matt Phillips. But for now, the focus is AORC, gaining experience and testing himself against the biggest names in the sport.
The Australian off-road scene has particularly strong in recent years, from the domestic AORC producing riders like Daniel Milner, Toby Price, Daniel Sanders and Josh Green with Bacon wanting to add his name to a very illustrious list of talented Australian riders to take on the world.
Tell us how you got involved in dirt bikes?
My Dad was a rider and racer back in the day and then became the president of the local club down here, so I was always around bikes. When I was two, I would be riding around with Dad chasing me hanging onto the rear guard until one day he let me go and I just fell in love with riding.
I had my first race when I was three and I don’t remember much of it, but I don’t think I was that good. In fact, I think I was pretty ordinary in the first few years and never a junior star, but I loved riding and racing and would do it as often as I could
What made you take on off road / enduro over MX or dirt track?
Again, Dad leaned towards off road so I followed in his path and Mum and Dad didn’t let me race motocross either so that was a big reason. Having Matt Phillips around – he was always a big influence in what we did, so it was always going to be off road for me. I never really raced motocross as a junior in the early days and still don’t do a lot of it now, while dirt track isn’t really an option in Tassie.
I met Matt through our local club, and we have all become close family friends. My Dad and his Dad are mates and Matt took me under his wing and showed me so many things about racing. He has been awesome to me and when we were teammates in 2019, I learnt so much that year from racing alongside him.
He opened some doors for me and his experience both in Australia and in Enduro GP means he has so much knowledge and he is always there to pass it on. He pushes and challenges me when he has to but also is supportive and encouraging. He has been awesome for me, and I can never thank him enough.
Does living in Tassie make it harder to be a professional racer?
It is more difficult living down here as it’s hard to gauge yourself against the competition. Myself and Jonte Reynders are both down here and race each other often, but there is never the depth of competition you would see on the mainland and especially in the eastern states.
The first AORC of the season is always hard as you have worked all off season but you are never sure how you will stack up because there is no one that I would race to give me a good indication. That’s where Matt comes in again and he has seen my ride long enough to know when I’m riding well and at a good pace.
The travel can also be hard – every trip is just bit longer travelling to and from the event plus organising the boat and things like that. But on the other side, we have plenty of good riding down here and so many places to ride that it makes up for it.
In 2020 you moved across to Yamaha and began working with another former AORC champ in AJ Roberts. How has that transition been?
AJ has been great, and the team are so helpful. Even though it’s a support ride at the moment, if feels like a factory ride to me because everyone works so hard to give us what we need to win. From racing advice, to bike set up and so many other things, having a good team makes such a big difference and I have fitted in with everyone on the team and it’s been awesome as they have stepped up their support in the last two years and the Yamaha is a great bike.
What’s the end goal of racing career?
I just love riding and even if I wasn’t racing, I would still ride. I will ride for as long as I can, until I can’t ride anymore. But I would like to do what Matt did and race the Enduro GPs in Europe. That style of racing suits my riding and I like the events and the atmosphere of races like that. It’s the highest level of enduro racing and want to be a world champion one day.
I would like to get there as soon as I can, but I want to gain as much experience as I can before I go so, I can get a good ride and make an immediate impact once I get there.
How frustrating is it that racing in covid times?
Like everyone in racing, its not fun at all. To me it feels like another year that is a bit of a waste that you can’t get back in some regards. Its two years now that I can’t go to the ISDE and be exposed to international competition or chase a world championship with the junior team. Its two years of training and working your butt off and not always able to see a reward through your racing results.
But, I also understand that it is something that no one can control and all I know is that when racing resumes, I will be ready to go and I can’t wait to get racing underway again.
Favourite event and why?
I love doing the AORC rounds at Kyogle in NSW. It’s a great weekend and the course is like we have here in Tassie as well as the format is more a traditional Enduro format which I like.
I liked doing Hattah and learned a lot there about preparation and bike set up so I look forward to going back there next year and being better at it than previous years.
AJ’s Take on Bacon
“I had been watching Kyron ride during 2019 when he won the EJ class and thought he showed a lot of passion and enthusiasm for racing with a very supportive family. Living in Tasmania can be hard as the travel and isolation can make it difficult, so successful riders from an area like that need to be self-motivated and disciplined and Kyron is certainly both of those.
“I just believed that with some structure and guidance, Kyron could improve quickly and represent both Yamaha and our team sponsors well and that has been the case. He stepped up one year early from EJ into E1 and despite getting bikes late prior to the 2020 season, he went to work and finished up third in the championship and proved to be a quick learner.
“He is easy to work with and is goal orientated. He wants a successful carer in racing not just in Australia, but in Europe and has proven to be a quick learner as he takes things on board and is always asking questions on how to be better.
“He is still young and has a big career ahead of him if he continues to do the work and chase his dreams.”
Kyron’s Ride - A closer look at the WR250F of Kyron Bacon
Airfilter: Funnel Web
Fuel: 98 octane
Chassis and Suspension:
Fork: 48mm KYB, revalved.
Shock: KYB shock revalved.
Triple clamps: OEM
Bar position: Back holes, forward holders
Handlebars: Neken- Yamaha bend
Protection: GYTR case saver, YZ250FX skid plate, Barkbusters